This is not so much a prediction as a progress report. Retailers can now combine digital targeting with in-person interaction, using advanced AI/ML platforms, according to Tech Trends 2021, a study by Deloitte Insight.
Not all retailers are there yet.” But for those that are, MLOps are helping them generate “better and more cost-effective recommendations, nudges,and promotions to support customers” — in effect, bespoke experiences.
This, in turn, is fed by “the systematic capture, aggregation, and analysis of vast volumes of unstructured data from increasingly nontraditional sources.”
And, it is fueled by “affecting computing,” or Emotion AI— the growing ability of computers to react to human emotions.
“Whether through natural language processing and sentiment analysis, voice stress analysis, or cameras cataloging microexpressions, AI is increasingly capable of recognizing our emotional state and intent,” in real time, the study says.
How does this work?
It could take the form of a virtual salesperson, who “welcomes you to your favorite store and directs you to sale items you might love,” the study suggests.
Or, it could be a virtual customer support agent “who echoes your frustration while following a ‘save’ script to persuadeyou not to cancel your service; only this agent has access to all of your data and history and the ability to tailor the perfect proposal to entice you to stay,” it adds.
That could lead to a reduction in abandoned carts--and the follow-up emails.
Then there’s the Spatial web, “high-resolution mapping of the physical world with AR and VR capabilities,” driving spatial web technologiesallow the projection of virtual objects into the physical world.”
Behind the scenes are the developers who are taking on new roles
“There’s a new breed of human experience creative: designers who use code as their medium, eliminating the gap between design and execution,” the study says.
It adds, “By combining creative sensibilities with technical know-how, these designers/coders can create increasingly seamless experiences based on individuals’ behaviors and preferences, defined by real- time data that’s relevant in the moment.”
Indeed, these tech leaders will be key drivers of business strategy, “more than the CFO, COO, and CMO combined,” according to 40% of CEOs surveyed in a Deloitte–Wall Street Journal Intelligence research.
Some of this may sound scary. Rest assured, it can only work if the consumer trusts the brand. And that can only happen if the brand knows the user’s identity.
“Without robust identity verification, organizations risk losing trust by leaking data,” the study warns.
It continues, “Identity management systems are hard at work to supplement credential validation and two- factor authentication to also include biometrics, behavior validation, and other advanced mechanisms for validating identity.”